The Homestead Education Center, a non-profit company that supports creating healthy communities, will host a Natural Health Expo to offer education and resources to Starkville residents at Trinity Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
According to Andrea Bhatia, event coordinator at The Homestead Education Center, the expo will teach people how to take initiative and improve their health without prescription drugs. The event offers information about fitness, minimally processed foods, local chiropractors and local therapists.
This is the second year the event has happened. There will be 13 presentations in total from various speakers. The presentations will be split by rooms, with 45-minute presentations in one room and 20-minute presentations in a different room.
Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend. It will be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church, but it is not limited to one religion. The Church is only the event venue, and the presentations are not related to religion.
“The goal of this expo is to really connect local people to local resources and just bring awareness to what is available that they may not have explored before,” Bhatia said.
Alison Buehler, director of the Homestead Education Center, said there will be presentations on stress relief, mindfulness, working out and healthy food.
“To keep yourself well, you have to learn a lot of preventative methods,” Buehler said.
Tyra Rowell, founder of Issues of Life, Inc., a Starkville-based counseling center, will speak about redefining thoughts and mindfulness. Rowell's talk will start as a meditation session and end with an opportunity for discussion.
“A lot of people are intimidated by meditation, but it is very good for you when you want time to yourself and to reconnect,” Rowell said. “We have so many things we have to do, but it helps to put on relaxing music and not think about anything at all.”
Rowell founded Issues of Life, Inc., a non-profit that provides Christian counseling. It helps people who want therapy but might not have insurance or the funds to go to other counseling services. She does not charge for counseling but asks that clients donate to her non-profit.
Since many people are intimidated to go to a counselor, Rowell also hosts a talk show on Facebook Live and YouTube Live where she talks about issues one may encounter and how to get through them.
Event Coordinator Bhatia said The Homestead Education Center does more than only the Natural Health Expo to support and educate the community. The non-profit also hosts retreats and nature events for preschool children and homeschool families every Wednesday.
Every November, Homestead raises money for community needs through the Helping Hands Project. Bhatia said the projects range from providing books for children to putting a roof on the J. L. King Center, a community center in Starkville. The Helping Hands Project raised around $91,000 over the last five years.
Through the Natural Health Expo, Homestead aims to help the community as much as possible. Bhatia said a lot of people are unaware of the local resources available. Last year, she discovered many of the attendees did not realize there were many people interested in health and alternative methods in the area.
Homestead Director Bueler said she believes it is important to get a head-start on healthy habits.
“The average person who is 65 is on something, like, five medications. That’s particular to our area, and it does not have to be,” Bueler said. “For younger people, if they can learn about natural health ahead of time, they will save themselves a lot of money and heartache.”
According to Bhatia, the Expo is a low-waste event, and it is encouraged for attendees to bring a water bottle. More information about the Health Expo can be found on the Homestead Center's website.